Mustang III (V.2) Review

manufacturer: Fender date: 10/16/2015 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Fender: Mustang III (V.2)
This amp is very versatile in sound, from very bright and clean to raunchy and distorted. I play blues, country, rock, and I find that this amp exceeded my expectation for the sound it outputs.
 Sound: 9.5
 Overall Impression: 9.5
 Reliability & Durability: 9.5
 Features: 9
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 Reviewer rating:
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reviews (2) pictures (4) 21 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.8
Mustang III (V.2) Reviewed by: roydraper, on july 09, 2013
3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 270

Purchased from: Gilbert Guitars

Features: Made in 2012-2013 (V.2). Solid state amp. It is very versatile in sound, from very bright and clean to raunchy and distorted. I play blues, country, rock, and I find that this amp exceeded my expectation for the sound it outputs. It is 1 channel, and it has both a 2-switch and 4-switch channels, and therefore you could have a 6-switch stomp box. The amp includes a two-switch stomp box. It does have an effects loop, headphone jack, USB for FUSE software and recording, and an input for an mp3 player to Jam with. It comes with tons of features, from different amp models to effects, delays and so on. Personally I would probably never use such as pitch shifter or ringer mod... But who knows. That's all part of the fun is trying out all of these effects and personalizing the presets for your own sounds. This amp has more than enough power. It is 100 watt, and I don't know if I'll ever have the master volume past 4! I play at home and at church, which is a fairly decent size and play really up-beat rockin' music. The only 2 things that have bothered me so far is that (1) you can only choose 1 effect/mod for each preset, for example it would be nice to have a chorus and flanger enabled at the same time, and (2) is that the FUSE software freezes often. // 8

Sound: I play a Strat and a Les Paul, two very different sounds and tones. And honestly, both sound great. You just have to play with the settings depending if you are playing with the humbuckers or the single coils... What I do is label my presets Strat or LP! It suits my music style wonderfully (Blues Country & Rock). It is very clean sounding, and really emulates the different Amps and Cab's VERY well. The gain, treb, mid and bass settings work just like any other amp. The effects sound amazing and distortion pedals, reverb and delays... There are so many to choose from and the variety in sounds could have you playing and modifying for hours and hours! All-in-all, this amp sounds great, awesome tone and output is phenomenal! // 9

Reliability & Durability: So far this amp is very dependable. It has not broken down. It is very durable. I have used it at home, outside at church etc. It would be safe to say that you could use this without a backup, but personally, I would bring a backup just in case... You never know right? But that's just me. It is a Fender, so quality should not be a question. I don't know what else to say about this great little amp. For it's size it's fairly lightweight 36lbs. 12 inch Celestion speaker, 100 watt. It's great for small to mid size gigs - I wouldn't rock out in the Rogers Centre or anything, but for pubs and church etc, it is wonderful! // 9

Overall Impression: As mentioned, I find this amp to fit my style of blues-country-rock very well. I have a Fender Vibro Cham as well, and it is an Amazing little tube amp, which I have had many effects pedals over the years with it. And just over the past few years I have been eyeing new amps that are slightly bigger/louder. Honestly, this one was a match for me. It is bigger and has more output, it emulates all the other amps & cab's I like, even the tube amps sound nice and warm coming from this solid-state! Also, there is no need to spend a ton of money on effects - they are all built in. The headphone jack is awesome so that I don't bug my wife late at night, and the iPod input so I can Jam with my tunes! And even though the FUSE software freezes, it is very user friendly, as well as the amp.

// 9

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overall: 10
Mustang III (V.2) Reviewed by: MusicLaw, on october 16, 2015
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: Bought Dec 2014. Been amazed with it's versatility, tones, FXs, sheer SPL, and control software! I also bought the sibling MIV (v2) 2x12. Althpugh I definitely prefer the richer sound and fuller tone from the 2x12, the MIII is plenty loud, crisp, clear and full! I typically use either model at no more than Master Volume 2 or 3 and rarely higher than 5 or 6. The MIII's 100 Watt Power Amp hasn't been pushed in my use. Only when using the built in Basic Studio PreAmp will I turn the Master Higher, as the inherent drive level and gain of this Preset is lower than the other internal amp models.

The variations and control via the on board LCD and Data Wheel give easy access to the 17 internal Amp Models and the 44 FXs, each with multiple easily adjustable parameters via the LCD and Wheel! On the Deep Amp (Page 2) settings is where most of the magic is! This allows each Amp to be configured for SAG, BIAS, NOISE GATE, CABINET SIMULTION, and more. This does vary by amp! Adjusting the Sag, Bias, Noise Gate, and Cab Sim for those model Presets that have these parameters has a dramatic and far too often overlooked feature set by many considering or using the Mustang Amp!

The 100 factory presets provide a spectrum of possible combinations of amp models and FXs. Some you may like others perhaps not so much, YMMV. Each Preset can be overwritten, changed and edited as you wish. There are also thousands more available via Fender's FUSE software (PC & Mac only) online User Community! Fender FUSE is free!

The Amp also has a built in Tuner and comes with a multi mode two button footswitch, that can be configured to Navigate the Presets or Toggle any of several predetermined pairs of FX. This is configured easily via the Amp's UTIL Menu. The Amp alsl has a built in Tuner, that mutes the Amp's Audio and displays on the LCD panel. The optional 4 button footswitch is very useful and hoghly recommended! It can be used with the 2 btn fsw! The 4btn Fsw is multi mode. The first Mode provides Quick Access to any three dedicated presets (of the 100) on the amp that you wish to designate. The next mode provides Navigation through the Presets Up/Dn, one at a time or in jumps of ten. The third mode provides On/Off toggling of the Stomp, MoDulation, and Delay FXs. The Tuner display of the Fsw shows Red LEDs for Flat or Sharp and a Center Green LED along with the Alpha character of the Tuned Note. The fsw allows On/Off activation of the Tuner, or you can do same right on the Amp. Adding the optional EXP-1 Pedal provides Volume and Expression mode configuration for each of the 100 presets! // 10

Sound: From cleans to classic, country to rock, dirty, distortion, overdrive, you name it. Very quite. I use it with Les Pauls (solid and semi hollow, humbucker, coil tapped, phase reversed), Sheraton II Pro, and Strat (Custom Vintage Noiseless). Only a very few of the higher drive and gain level Amp models and FX will push the DSP's to breakup, distortion, or clipping. When that occurs, it is very easy to simply gain stage the several level control parameters to either retain the grit just shy of breakup, get a more buttery sound, or clean it up entirely! // 10

Reliability & Durability: Seems to be very well made and durable. No wear nor damages in the first 10 months. For the price, if it breaks and Fender can't/won't fix/replace it within the 5 year warranty, I'll buy a new one! If corner exposure wear is a concern, Fender sells, metal corner reinforcement cover caps that screw into place. You can also mount a set of Fender Kick back arms to the sides of the unit if desired. Some have even mounted Casters to the bottom. The unit is not that heavy so unless the casters are for minor repositioning, I felt it is unnecessary. The Fender Dust cover is also well made and reasonably priced. Some have reported problems with the knobs seeming loose. I have had none. Others have broken the instrument jack or Aux or USB jacks due to their vertical position. I can only see this being a problem if you don't use a 90 degree plug or fail to strain relief the cord before plugging it into the amp. // 10

Overall Impression: The free Fender FUSE Complete Amp Control and Editing Software is very useful but requires a tethered PC or Mac! This allows full amp control, editing of all Presets and FX parameters, backing up your Presets, and uploading and downloading Presets via the Internet to the Fender FUSE online Community. Fender FUSE does not work with Android nor iOS tablets nor Smartphones! For the first months I had the Mustang amps, I did not have them connected to FUSE, as my Desktop PC is located in another room away from the Amps. I recently got a long 32' Active USB repeater Extension cable that now allows me to connect the amps. FUSE is very nice, works well, and has a long history of users that have encouraged Fender to enhance and improve FUSE. For years, Fender has not done so! // 10

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